Eight men who were executed in Indonesia this week reportedly prayed the Lord’s Prayer just before they were killed.
According to Christian Today, Pastor Karina de Vega was counseling Nigerian prisoner Okwudili Oyatanze and heard the prisoners singing “Bless the Lord O My Soul” and “Amazing Grace” as they were lined up for execution by firing squad.
The eight men refused to wear blindfolds.
"They were praising their God," Vega told the Sydney Morning Herald. "It was breath-taking. This was the first time I witnessed someone so excited to meet their God."
Another spiritual advisor present for the executions was Father Charlie Burrows. He said he and the other religious leaders started singing as well.
"The good thing is all prisoners were executed together while praying and singing. Before that they hugged each other, saying goodbye," Christina Widiantarti, a lawyer, said.
The eight men were all convicted of drug trafficking. Two of the men, Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, were sentenced to death just 72 hours before. The Australian government, in response, warned Indonesian President Joko Widodo to reconsider the “cruel and unnecessary” sentence.
Also this week, following the executions, the hashtag #boycottIndonesia began trending.
"Drugs are a destructive social weapon, and their prevalence in this day and age must be a focus of our efforts for change. Trafficking of drugs must be a condemned behaviour – something that both Andrew and Myuran understand more than ever – but not one with such absolute and irreversible consequences," said Brian Houston, senior pastor of Hillsong Church who spoke daily with Chan before he was killed.
Publication date: April 29, 2015
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.